Anyone realized you don't like a lot of gain?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by althekiller, May 7, 2015.

  1. althekiller

    althekiller Supporting Member

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    I've noticed with every amp I have that I like to push the master volume and keep the gain lower. My main amp (JMP 2203) I find sounds the best to me with the pre-amp volume at noon and the Master at noon or above if possible.

    What is odd is most of the music I listen to has quite a bit of gain but when I play my own rig I just don't sound very good with a lot of gain. Maybe it's the fact I use the guitar volumes to get very clean to crunch and with too much gain this approach doesn't work as well.

    Anyway, how many of you find that you tend to have a very different sound than most of what you listen to? You'd think many would have a similar sound to the music they listen to but that's not the case for me. It's not on purpose either. I just personally sound better when I stopped trying to get sounds from my favorite bands and set the amps where they sound the best for my style...Guess this is a good thing. It's just weird to me that my tone is so different from my favorites bands.
     
  2. grill

    grill Member

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    sad to say, i have no idea what gain is or how to use it.

    i grew up with vol, bass, mid, treb.
     
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  3. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    It's not so much the distortion per se as the compression that goes with it. I tend to prefer a relatively open, less compressed sound where I can control/vary the gain with my right hand attack.

    When I'm in doubt, my question is WWAC/DCD?
    ;)
     
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  4. BADHAK

    BADHAK Member

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    ^^^^what he said! !!
    Setting my amp (79 or 80 jmp 2203s )for ACDC crunch (vol 3 or 4,gain 6) allows me to get great cleanish tones with the gtr vol. From 2 to 8 on the guitar vol covers 80% of what i do,and a clean boost covers solos / heavy.
    Every now and then I see a guitarist ripping using gobs of gain (compared to me) and i think,"i should try that" but after a sec i always go back to my sound.
    I see a lot of guys playing covers with way to much gain,and i wonder,did they actually listen to the song? ?
     
  5. JPF

    JPF Member

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    When I need to be heard amongst the other voices, I drop the gain.
     
  6. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    I don't use much gain and I usually cut Mids for better clarity.
     
  7. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    I tend to THINK I want more gain than I really do. Had to teach myself to set the gain just where I "like it" and then back it off a good deal.

    It began dawning on me over a decade ago. I used to play (in the seventies) and ampeg that had TONS of headroom...but then again could crank it. Never used to use OD. Later on got into OD, but too much.

    I noticed one day that when I thought of certain songs I liked, in my mind and memory they always had tons of gain, but when I actually listened to the songs was always getting surprised at how little overdrive was being used. It was just the notes they played and how they played that equated to "more gain" in my mind...the excitement.

    Have heard bands where the guitarist had a great rythm sound, tone, and then kicks on some pedal or second channel on the amp, and loses the cool tone, and gets buried in the mix. Decided I didn't want to do that.
     
  8. jota

    jota Member

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    I always used less gain than other guitarrists I played with.
    Lately I've been noticing I do not sound that good when I thought I was sounding "heavy" enough.
    I'm back using humbuckers and more gain for songs that require distortion.
    It's not always what i like most but is definitely what the song asks for.
     
  9. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    I don't mind low gain sounds, but I also like really high gain tones with lots of compression and sustain. It depends on the situation.
    Bugley cleans can be really nice and singing gain can be too.
     
  10. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    I spend most of the time in the pristine clean, jangle to ideal crunch zone.
     
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  11. blackmore11

    blackmore11 Member

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    No one has ever accused me of using too little gain! My clean channel is barely touched.
     
  12. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

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    Given the music I play (mostly blues/jazz) I've never needed it, so therefore don't use it and have limited experience with it.

    The guys I grew up with and went to school with are all into metal and idolise Dimebag so have amps like the Krankenstein. That thing sure has some gain, just not my thing at all.
     
  13. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

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    Personally I don't like using much gain; usually I have to set up my gain so it sounds and responds the way I want, then cut that gain in half. It may not sound and feel right by itself, but sits well in a mix.

    Also if a guitar is made of great wood and has great pickups, it will sound more interesting when played clean and will require less gain to get a good responsive tone. Les Pauls are especially like this; many of the iconic LP tones had relatively low gain but tons of character and sustain. But many LP's have poor clean tone, especially those with hot humbuckers.

    Another reason vintage gear got by with relatively little gain was the amps were played very loud, and the physical interaction of the loud tone with the guitar gave a lot of complexity and sustain to the tone. You don't get that interaction at lower volumes.

    If you want a real surprise, check out some of the isolated guitar tracks from Van Halen I and pay attention to how little gain Eddie is using. There are later live videos where he uses even less. But his guitar and playing sound so good we think the gain is high.
     
  14. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Deluxe model available !!!11

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    I like controling gain (or overdrive) when I pick harder or hit a chord harder.... that's were the beauty of a tube amp is. It all lives on that hairy edge! :love:
     
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  15. drewl

    drewl Member

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    Depends on the song but as I get older and better I find myself playing cleaner as it usually projects better.
     
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  16. supergenius365

    supergenius365 Silver Supporting Member

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    Most of my gear frustration comes from trying to get a good sound with gain. I can dial in a clean tone in a snap and end up practicing/playing for hours.
     
  17. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    Not a "geezer" yet. Don't forget your meds guys. :console
     
  18. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    Some guys can't really play without a bunch of added sustain and distortion.
     
  19. Ben R

    Ben R Member

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    It wasn't so much that I didn't like gain. It was more of a realization about the TYPE of gain. About 8 years ago, I realized that I prefer my distorted guitars to go "crunch" - rather than "fizz".

    .
     
  20. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    I have Ludicrous Gain on tap IF..... I wanted it.

    My friend's honest first reaction to my Bad Cat Hot Cat 100R in OD section.
    This is like 1:00 on the OD channel pre-gain.

    [soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/ogredaddy/curious-george-meets-bad-cat[/soundcloud]
     

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